Title : Uncle Jed's Barbershop
Author : Margaree King Mitchell
Illustrator : James Ransome
Grade Level : 4th grade
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Uncle Jed’s Barbershop is a story told by a little girl named Sara Jean. The story starts off discussing Sara’s favorite uncle named Uncle Jed. Uncle Jed was the only black barber in the county. Uncle Jed always spoke about his dream to open his own barbershop. He has said it for years and no one ever believed that he would. Those days no one had dreams like that. Most people were poor. When Sara was five years old she got very sick and needed to travel 20 miles to go to the hospital on a wagon. The hospital had a specific “colored waiting room”. Although Sara was unconscious, the doctor would not see her until all white patients were seen first. Finally the doctor saw her and the doctor told her family she needed a surgery which was going to cost three hundred dollars. At that time, three hundred dollars was a lot of money and her father did not have it. She could not be operated on until the money was received, so Sara’s father went to speak to her uncle Jed. Uncle Jed claimed that money meant nothing when Sara was in the picture and he was going to do whatever it took to make sure nothing happened to Sara and she had the surgery. Uncle Jed came across a time of the great depression where he lost all his in his bank account. Jed continued saving all over again. At the end of the story, Uncle Jed finally got his barber shop; he opened it on his 79th birthday. It was everything he ever dreamed of. Uncle Jed died shortly after that, but he died a happy man. He made his dream come true even when no one else believed in it. He taught Sara to never give up on her dream, which she will always remember.
Element 4: Social Movement and Social Change
In my opinion Uncle Jed’s Barber shop is a great book that displays social movement and social change because it helps provide students with a learning experience about standing up for what you believe in and following your dreams. Within the story, the family deals with hardships of low economic status, as well as segregation and discrimination. Being the only black barber in town, Uncle Jed did not give up. Despite the segregation of race and color, Uncle Jed had a dream and he followed it. In the end of the novel he accomplishes his dream, and teaches his niece that social change is possible, and you should not give up on your dream. This story is great because it shows how Uncle Jed overcomes segregation and tries to make a social change and still accomplishes his dream despite the hardships he faced. This story is great because it gives students hope in social movements and changes .
Prior background knowledge is given about segregation before the story is read. After the story has been read to the class; the horrible effects of segregation will be discussed as well as the hardships in Sara Jean's family experienced.
Students will be asked to give examples of what type of segregation could take place around the world. Next students will be asked to give the types of segregation that can happen in schools. Students will be asked to list their answers on the board, then a class discussion will take place. Students will be asked to list ways to prevent segregation and its horrible effects.